by Jenny Gaal, Fitness Director


Did you know that getting an hour of activity a day can improve your children’s health and help instill good behaviors. Developing a love of exercise in children remains especially important because the Centers for Disease Control estimates that 17 percent 2- to 19-year-olds — 12.7 million youths — are obese.

It can be tough to incorporate exercise in between school and homework.  However, there are fun ways to add in extra activity. Here are some tips to help encourage adequate physical activity:

  1. Make exercise a family activity. The entire family should take a walk, play basketball or ride their bikes after dinner, for example.
  2. Add activity to daily tasks. Is the grocery store, book store or a favorite restaurant within walking distance? Try walking instead of hopping in the car.
  3. Try a new class. Football, soccer or swim teams do not work for every child. But gymnastics, martial arts, dance or yoga classes can get children moving.
  4. Mandate tech-free time. Ask children to step away from their gadgets for an hour a day and encourage them to use this time to be active. Even something like an hour of tag can make a difference.
  5. Model good behavior. Lace up those running shoes, pull out the yoga mat or hop on the bike. Children who see their parents being active are more likely to be active themselves.